While indoor hospitality will not be resumed until May 17 at the earliest, businesses that boast outdoor spaces will be able to reopen in ten days. However, industry bosses have blasted a “triple whammy” of restrictions that could make the reopening more difficult.
Under the new measures, every customer aged over 16 will have to sign into the test and trace system.
This is a significant change from last summer’s rules, which required only one member of a group to log in.
It is also currently unclear whether customers will be able to pay at the bar, meaning rural regions with poor internet connection could experience issues with online payments.
Reports suggest pub landlords may have to ask customers to show their “vaccine passports” upon entry.
UK Hospitality (UKH), the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and the British Institute of Innkeepers (BII) denounced the possible restrictions, labelling them as “burdens”.
The entities released a joint statement, voicing their frustration.
They said: “Government has promised the country that we will be reopening but we are now being told that this will be with our hands tied behind our backs.
“It now seems the hospitality industry could be burdened with vaccine passports, over-complicated test and trace rules and an inability to take payments indoors at reopening – a triple whammy for hard-pressed publicans who have been forcibly closed for months.
“Pubs will already be trading at a loss when they reopen with all the existing restrictions and Covid-secure measures in place.
“Adding further disproportionate and discriminatory measures threatens the very survival of thousands of businesses.
“It’s unfair to single out our sector again with these added impractical burdens that will have economic consequences and risk our recovery.”